Starting Thursday, the region's rising stars will have a first crack at emulating their illustrious countrymen at the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf at Kingston Heath Golf Club when they take on 27 other nations, including hosts Australia and the United States, in the prestigious team event.
Both Chan and Pan are making their debuts in the US$8 million team event, having achieved career seasons. They are also reuniting for the first time in a decade after teaming up in the 2006 Asian Games when they were amateurs.
Their professional careers took on different paths but the close friends have shown their potential. Chan, 30, broke through with two victories on the Asian Tour this season while 25-year-old Pan, a former world amateur number one, earned his PGA TOUR card via the Web.com Tour.
"It's an honour to be here especially playing with Chan as we last represented Chinese Taipei in the Asian Games. It's like going back to old memories and it's good to be here with him," said Pan.
"When I was a kid, we grew up practising and hearing stories about Lu Liang-huan and Hsieh Min-nan winning the World Cup. So that's always in our memories. This year, being able to come into the World Cup and representing Chinese Taipei, we've always wanted to do that as junior golfers."
Pan arrived in Melbourne on Tuesday night after notching a top-10 on the PGA TOUR on Sunday while Chan is equally confident following a stunning year where he won the King's Cup in Thailand and Diamond Cup in Japan to be ranked fifth on the Asian Tour's Order of Merit.
"I'm very happy we're together again. It's been 10 years and our careers have gone on different paths with him going to America while I've stayed in Asia. I'm happy and honoured that we can play together again," said Chan.
"It's exciting to be here. I've got a good partner. I won't be nervous so I think we will have a chance. When he asked me if I wanted to play with him in the World Cup, I was excited as it's a real honour. This tournament is very important."
Pan is equally excited to pair up with Chan. "I was happy to pick Chan as he's won two tournaments, he's experienced and obviously he knows how to win. We have a good team and who knows what can happen out there," he said.
With strong winds prevailing over Kingston Heath, which is rated as one of the top Australian courses, Chan is hoping to soar high on the leaderboard. Team Australia, represented by Adam Scott and Marc Leishman, the United States team of Jimmy Walker and Rickie Fowler and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama and Ryo Ishikawa will start the week as favourites.
"The winds are strong at Kingston Heath, and I think we have a chance as in Chinese Taipei, it's always strong winds and this feels very much like home," said Chan.
The 2016 World Cup will be the 58th staging of this event. For ticket information and to follow all of the news, player features and more as the event approaches, the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf web-site is http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/isps-handa-world-cup-of-golf.html.
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